September 5, 2017

Both families are working hard to learn French. Nikola and Waseem spent much of the
summer living with host families and studying French in Bonaventure in the Gaspé, a place and people they both came to love. The Al Mohammad children also enjoyed their summers. Some of the children even participated in a sleepover summer camp which included swimming,
canoeing and playing sports.

The children have picked up French quickly and are now able to converse easily. They’ve
recently returned to school where they are doing well in their studies. They happily report that they’ve made friends with classmates and neighbours from all over the world. The oldest children have now added English studies on top of their French studies as they both prepare to apply to college or university. 

Everyone has come a long way from our first encounters when we all relied heavily on
translators. Overall, both families are doing well as they integrate into Montreal life. Of course, there have been small challenges along the way, but everyone’s determination, positive spirit and resilience continue to be inspiring.

In the meantime, the refugee sponsorship task force has been looking at ways to provide
support for the large number of Haitian asylum seekers who have been arriving daily in Quebec from the US. Many aid organizations are trying to figure this out as well. As we have a better sense of what is needed, we will be informing the congregation.

Refugee Task Force—Rev. Diane Rollert, David Rollert, John Inder, Leah Garfield-Wright